Cover photo for Dr. Dennis Wiley Atkins, Ph.D.'s Obituary
Dr. Dennis Wiley Atkins, Ph.D. Profile Photo
1952 Dr. Dennis Wiley Atkins, Ph.D. 2023

Dr. Dennis Wiley Atkins, Ph.D.

October 4, 1952 — June 5, 2023

Huntsville

The Lord called Dennis to his eternal home on June 5th after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family at his home in Huntsville, Al.

Dennis was a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. He positively impacted his many friends and all those who had the good fortune to cross his path from the time he was a young boy playing catcher for the Police Athletic League team in the Florida Little League. His classmates elected him "Mr. 54th Avenue in the 6th grade.

Born in Saint Petersburg, Florida to the late Billy Junior and the late Emily Ione Atkins. Dennis attended 54th Avenue Elementary, Meadowlawn Jr. High. and graduated from Northeast High School in 1970.

Soon after graduation, Dennis enlisted in the US Air Force where he served for 4 years. He served as a Police Officer for a short time in Robbins North Carolina. He returned to St. Petersburg for a brief period before attending Officer Candidate Training and entered the Army as a Lieutenant where he became an invaluable asset in high level military meetings in Latin and South America because of his proficiency in Spanish. Throughout his Army career, he served as infantry officer, platoon leader and training command positions, attending grad school at the University of Florida and eventually retiring from Military service as a Major.

Dennis was a consummate military man; he was tough, compassionate, and devoted to the service of God and Country. He was profoundly influenced by his father who was a Captain for the St. Petersburg Police Department, and by his mother who was a school crossing guard, and safety instructor.

After his distinguished military career, he worked for a civilian military supply contractor in Huntsville, Al. where he frequently traveled to the middle east. He continued his work throughout his cancer treatments up to and until the day he was hospitalized for the last time.

Dennis always had a hunger to learn. He continued his education during his military career and throughout his life, earning both a Masters degree and Doctorates in Philosophy and theology. He also completed an internship at the Georgia State Assembly in 1987 and drew accolades from elected officials for his work there.

He acted as Chaplain for the American Legion in Huntsville, Al, where he continued his service to the military community, frequently taking the lead in fundraising initiatives and organizing golf tournaments.

Dennis was an avid golfer, and also enjoyed karaoke and was a frequent and popular performer at the VFW in Huntsville. He has a great stage presence which only enhanced his God - given vocal talent.

About his own life, around his 70th birthday he said "No complaints, life has been good to me and I've been able to do more and go more places than I ever thought possible, I am a very blessed person, way more than I ever deserved".

Dennis is survived by his sister Joy, and her daughter Cheyenne, sister Jennifer, his former wife and lifelong friend Dorothy, his four sons, Billy (wife Susan), Andrew, Matthew, (wife Janice), Mark (wife Tracy) and two daughters Emily and Lindsay (husband Wyatt), his four grandchildren, Brooklynn, Bella, Addi and Calum, many beloved Cousins and friends.

There will be a service to celebrate his life on Saturday, June 17th at 10:00 AM, Grace Connection Church 5000 10th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33703. A reception will be held in the fellowship hall at Grace Lutheran Church 4301 16th St N. after the Celebration of life and Military Honors.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Legion Post 237 in Huntsville, Al. at 2900 Drake Ave SW, Huntsville, Al. (256) 883-9911 (info@legion237.com)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Dennis Wiley Atkins, Ph.D., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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